Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXI

- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has decided to run for President in 2016, intending to challenge Hillary Clinton (and who knows who else) for the Democrat nomination. This announcement was met with pretty much a proverbial yawn since Sanders' candidacy is to Democrats what a Ron Paul candidacy was to the GOP.

Since he first became a member of Congress nearly 25 years ago, Sanders has made clear his ideological leanings.

"I am a socialist and everyone knows that," Sanders said, responding to an ad that tried to link him to the regime of Fidel Castro.

He continued: "They also understand that my kind of democratic socialism has nothing to do with authoritarian communism."

Yes, "authoritarian communism" would be "big S" Socialism. And that is a distinction the left wing rag New Republic was sure to emphasize.

As Sanders explained in a 2006 interview with Democracy Now!:

I think [democratic socialism] means the government has got to play a very important role in making sure that as a right of citizenship all of our people have healthcare; that as a right, all of our kids, regardless of income, have quality childcare, are able to go to college without going deeply into debt; that it means we do not allow large corporations and moneyed interests to destroy our environment; that we create a government in which it is not dominated by big money interest. I mean, to me, it means democracy, frankly. That’s all it means.

Yep. We get it. Still not interested in government controlling every facet of our lives however.

- How secure is a job with a Federal government bureaucracy as opposed to the private sector?

Government watchdog investigations have found that at least two EPA employees who were caught watching porn and sexually harassing female co-workers were also awarded or promoted by the agency.

Furthermore, senior EPA officials largely ignored complaints by 16 women, mostly employees, who accused one official of sexual harassment. Despite these complaints, this employee actually got a promoted.

Compare that to the actions of Chad Shanks, now a former social media manager with the NBA's Houston Rockets. As the Rockets were on the brink of eliminating the Dallas Mavericks from the NBA playoffs Tuesday evening, Shanks tweeted the following:

Yes, that's a horse head emoji with a gun emoji pointed towards it.

For that, Shanks was given his walking papers. Hopefully that tweet was removed posthaste. Never know how many excited Rockets fans would have been incited to open fire on nearby ranches.

- My Minnesota Vikings drafted highly touted Cornerback Trae Waynes on Thursday evening with their 1st round pick (11th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Not so coincidentally, this selection occurred four spots after the Vikes' division rival Chicago Bears drafted stud WR Kevin White.

Given the fact the Vikings have to face some of the top Wide Receivers in the game twice per season (Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb of Green Bay; Golden Tate & Calvin Johnson of Detroit; White & Alshon Jeffery of Chicago), it behooved them to upgrade the secondary. After the emergence of second year CB Xavier Rhodes in 2014, the Vikings hope to have one of the more formidable defensive backfields for years to come.

During NFL Network's coverage of the draft, guest commentator David Shaw (head football coach at Stanford) mentioned he was so impressed with Waynes after seeing his Michigan St. team take on Shaw's Cardinal squad in the 2014 Rose Bowl, he said Waynes reminded him of Pro Bowl corner Richard Sherman. Yes, that's a bit hyperbolic considering Waynes has yet to play a single down in the NFL. However, Shaw was an assistant at Stanford during Sherman's time there, so he definitely feels Waynes can also make that progression.

On a separate note, I thought the first night of the NFL Draft had a weird aura to it. One, it took place in Chicago as opposed to the usual location of Radio City Music Hall in New York. And two, the New York Jets fans were actually excited for their team's first round pick.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No Sunday Fun day

Someday soon, Minnesotans will be able to purchase alcohol from liquor stores without having to visit our neighboring states. But not in 2015.

Well, it was close. Or at least closer.

On Tuesday afternoon, House lawmakers voted 75-57 to kill an amendment to a broader liquor bill that would have allowed local governments to chose whether their stores could sell beer on Sundays. Minnesota is one of just 12 states that have the ban, and no states on the border prohibit liquor purchases on Sundays. Supporters say Minnesota is losing out on business every Sunday to states like Wisconsin.

“Eden prairie is different than Ely, we have different needs across the state, and all this does is says the local government is the body that should decide,” argued Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, the author of the amendment. “They are fully capable of making this decision, and if this is something your community wants, your local government should have the ability to make that choice.”

Even though Sunday liquor sales was shot down in the Senate two weeks ago, the hope was that it would pass the House via an amendment and then be part of the final Omnibus Liquor Bill in conference committee. Alas, it was not to be.

Here is how the House voted (Yes=green; No=red):

Photo courtesy of MPR News

What's most disappointing is the GOP is supposed to be the party of free markets, yet nearly a third of its House members voted "No." This is the type of vote which may result in free market advocates putting up a primary challenge against those Republicans next year. And if you think this inclination is merely because some Minnesotans are angry they can 't purchase booze on a Sunday, then you are missing the greater point. This is about private enterprises having the option to conduct commerce if they so choose.

While I've never been a huge fan of the "purity tests" which right-of-center voters like to impose upon Republican politicians, I am totally on board holding a member's feet to the fire if they can't, at the very minimum, support free enterprise.

Silver lining (and perhaps a little self-serving): Both my state Senator and House member voted "Yes."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Paying tribute by rioting.

I really don't have anything unique to add regarding the rioting in Baltimore in response to the death of 25-year old Freddie Gray. Yes, Gray's death while in custody of the Baltimore police reeks to the moon and back. And if indeed there was impropriety on the part of law enforcement, let's hope that (for once) justice is served.

As usual, my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network Mitch Berg sums it perfectly when responding to the shrieks of "Yes rioting and looting and violence is wrong but ZOMG MILITARIZATION OF POLICE!!!!!!!"

Real life has a way of turning weirder than my imagination. If I'd written a chapter as absurd as what's happening in Baltimore right now into my upcoming e-book, Trulbert: a Comic Novella About The End Of The World As We Know It, I'd have cut it. Too unbelievable.

Speaking of which? If you're one of those people who's spent the past 3-7 years jabbering about the importance of rock-solid "principles", including the ephemeral "Non-Aggression Principle", but are cheering what's going on in Baltimore right now, then I'm not sure how to tell you, but your "principles" are about as deep and self-indulgent as your train of thought.

I get it. Our criminal justice system is a mess. The police have become disconnected from the communities they "serve" (as have the prosecutors and courts). And I'll put my beef with the cops up against yours.

But you don't have to be a cop fanboy to know that if you're cheering the destruction of private property, people getting beaten (most likely) to death, and the political class wrapping crime and thuggery in the First Amendment, I'm sorry; I'm inclined to think you're an idiot, and I hope that someday you'll be the one facing down a mob of looters.

But I mean that with all due respect.

One final thought: Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake inviting Al Sharpton to town to plea for "peace in our city" probably isn't the most expeditious way to quell a race riot. Just sayin'....


Monday, April 27, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays - May 24, 2013.


Last week, Mets' hitter Eric Young, Jr. reached base on a bunt hit to the outfield. The last time a runner reached base that way was Toronto's Emilio Bonifacio, who had a bunt hit to left field in the game I referenced above.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Baby, baby it's Wild World

I remember July 4, 2012. My wife, brother and I were driving home from a family gathering in northwest Wisconsin when my bro received a text about the Minnesota Wild. On that day the Wild signed the two most coveted NHL free agents, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts. Since we couldn't get any of the Twin Cities sports radio stations on my car radio, I pulled over to bring up KFAN on the iHeartRADIO app on my phone. Host Dan Barreiro had on Minnesota hockey guru Lou Nanne to discuss this coup the Wild pulled off. Nanne's excitement was downright palpable, so much so that I declared myself back on the Wild bandwagon for the first time since their magical 2003 playoff run.

On Sunday, the Wild wrapped up its first round series against the St. Louis Blues with a 4-1 Game 6 victory. What impressed me most about this series win was the bounce back performances of goalie Devan Dubnyk, who was essentially the Wild's MVP the final three months of the regular season. After allowing six goals in just less than two periods in Game 4 (a 6-1 Blues win, knotting the series at 2-2), Dubnyk responded over the next two games (a pair of 4-1 Wild victories) by stopping 66 out of 68 shots. It's an old cliche but it's true: Never underestimate the team with the hot goalie. This will definitely be the X factor as the Wild will now face a Chicago Blackhawks club who has eliminated them from postseason play each of the past two seasons.

Speaking of Parise, as 1500 ESPN guy Judd Zulgad notes, that lucrative contract he signed is starting to pay some dividends.

Parise proved again Sunday that he is worth every penny of that contract and that the bigger the stage the better he plays. Parise gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 7 minutes, 14 seconds of the first period with a shorthanded goal that you had to see to believe.

Breaking down the left wing side, Parise attempted to fight off Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and could have easily just dumped the puck behind the net. Instead, he got past Shattenkirk and put a shot on goalie Jake Allen from a terrible angle. Somehow, the shot beat Allen to the near side.

The goal was brutal from Allen's standpoint, but it was a brilliant shot by Parise.

Parise would add a second goal early in the third period after St. Louis had pulled within one by scoring in the final seconds of the second. The goal came on a rebound off a Jason Pominville shot as Parise never stopped going to the net.

Last season, Parise had two goals and two assists as the Wild stayed alive by beating Colorado, 5-2, in Game 6 at the X.

Asked about his ability to be at his best in pressure situations, Parise said: "There's a lot of hockey stuff in play, but I think any athlete wants to be a part of the big-stage games. Any athlete wants to be involved in the game and take part in it. From top to bottom, I think all of our guys did a really good job."

The Blackhawks will likely be favored this next series and rightly so. But with the unflappability the Wild has displayed since mid January, don't be surprised if the "State of Hockey" hosts postseason games in June.


Yeah, smile and shake your head as if you don't believe me......

Another Sunday, yet another edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer. The two-hour extravaganza gets started right at 1:00 PM Central Time.

Among the topics to get to include revelations of Secret Police tactics against Wisconsin conservatives, Earth Day shenanigans, lefty tax delinquents, righty transgenders, etc.

At 2:00, MN State Representative Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) will stop by to discuss the latest from this legislative session, including a bill he's carried in the MN House entitled "Right to Try."

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, April 24, 2015

Didn't see that comin'

OK, I admit it. Friday evening I indulged in the full two-hour ABC special entitled Bruce Jenner: The Interview. Veteran news gal Diane Sawyer conducted this sitdown with perhaps the most prominently known decathlete turned motivational speaker turned reality TV star.

I guess I'm a sucker for the buildup of such a TV event, so I even set aside viewing of my Minnesota pro sports clubs (Wild in the Stanley Cup playoffs; Twins taking on Felix Hernandez) to hear firsthand from Jenner himself what shocking personal factoid he was set to reveal. Upon revelation, Ms. Sawyer let out an audible gasp.

Jenner revealed he is a Republican.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy "Lack of Self-Awareness Day"

You wanna know what is perhaps the most intolerant religion in America? Well, if you believe American leftists and their mainstream media cohorts, it's Christianity. But no, the most intolerant religion is indeed "environmentalism." Never is that more evident than on "Earth Day."

The problem with enviro whackos is they forbid anyone to question the veracity of "global warming" or "climate change" with merely common sense inquiries. For instance, if indeed the earth has been in existence for 4-5 billion years, how can we proclaim that "science is settled" when we only have a century worth of data? Alas, such inquiries are often met with "Shut Up," they explained.

But what continues to amaze me is the fear mongering and apocalyptic declarations of the likes of Al Gore, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and President Barack Obama. All three at one point or another have essentially said the planet is nearly at a point of no return if we don't rein in the carbon use. Yet these same individuals will think nothing of hopping on a luxury jet to lecture us about controlling our "carbon footprint" yet will use 10 times the fuel in one trip than most Americans will use in an entire year.

You know what would really make an impact? If the likes of Gore and Kennedy followed the example of actor Ed Begley, Jr. Begley, one of Hollywood's more renown environmentalists, is said to have been a vegan for many years and has been known to ride a bicycle as much as he can. But when further distances are required, Begley drives his 2003 Toyota RAV4 EV electric-powered vehicle. He also lives in a modest 1,500 square foot home which derives its energy primarily from solar power. Regardless what you think of Gore, he has the ear of a lot of Americans when discussing the environment. Don't you think his cataclysmic rhetoric would have tons more credibility if he followed Begley's example?

Gore usually answers such inquiries with the claim that he's "carbon neutral," which means he purchases "carbon offsets" in the equivalent amount that is reduced elsewhere on the planet. I wonder how much he's invested in "hypocrisy offsets."


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Government terrorists.

When U.S. citizens attempt to thwart a progressive political agenda, the ensuing discourse is rarely civil (see: IRS, Tea Party). What's sad is we've almost come to expect that government agencies will abuse their power (see: NSA) to maintain control of Americans.

With all that said, I wasn't quite prepared to read about the backlash against citizens who supported the conservative agenda of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking.

She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

“I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee.

“I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.” 

Lest you think this was an "isolated incident...."


That was the first thought of “Anne” (not her real name). Someone was pounding at her front door.

It was early in the morning — very early — and it was the kind of heavy pounding that meant someone was either fleeing from — or bringing — trouble. “It was so hard. I’d never heard anything like it. I thought someone was dying outside.”

She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos. “People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.”

It doesn't stop there.

For the family of “Rachel” (not her real name), the ordeal began before dawn — with the same loud, insistent knocking. Still in her pajamas, Rachel answered the door and saw uniformed police, poised to enter her home.

When Rachel asked to wake her children herself, the officer insisted on walking into their rooms. The kids woke to an armed officer, standing near their beds.

The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer.

And, yes, there were the warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about this. Don’t tell your friends. The kids watched — alarmed — as the school bus drove by, with the students inside watching the spectacle of uniformed police surrounding the house, carrying out the family’s belongings. Yet they were told they couldn’t tell anyone at school.

They, too, had to remain silent.

You get the idea.

Wisconsin leftists (whether it be the Democrat politicians or their supporters) have put on the most stunning display of maniacal behavior over the past four years. And since Gov. Walker's agenda has withstood fleeing Dem legislators, multiple legal challenges and three statewide elections in four years, the leftist lunacy runneth over.

I've heard stories of what citizens endured living in East Germany under communist rule and how the consequences were quite harrowing if they dared to express themselves freely. While I think it might be a bit hyperbolic to equate the state of Wisconsin to East Germany in the "Berlin Wall" days, it's not a stretch to say the Wisconsinites subjected to the unlawful searches and seizures were any less fearful than the East Germans.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Box Score of the Week

May 2002 - Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics.


Chicago Cubs rookie phenom Kris Bryant struck out three times in his Major League debut last week. The record for most strikeouts in one's debut is four, which was accomplished by multiple players. The last to do so was Oakland's Esteban German in the game I referenced above. 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

I once had a life, or rather life had me.....

Now that we can exhale after another Tax Day has come and gone, why not indulge in today's edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program The Closer? I will be broadcasting from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time. 

I'll likely get into local political news from this past week, including the MN Senate once again rejecting a repeal of Sunday liquor sales and Gov. Mark Dayton finally tackling one of the state's more pressing issues. On the national political scene, two more 2016 prospects for President (Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Marco Rubio) officially declared their candidacies, so I'll discuss that as well.

At 1:30, newly elected MN College Republicans chair Aly Eichman will check in to the program to relish in her victory as well as share what lies ahead in her administration. 

Then at 2:15, the program's political wonk Matt Mackowiak will join me via phone. Matt will discuss the latest in the 2016 presidential campaign and what lies ahead for the latest entrants into the race. 

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, April 17, 2015

You keep using that word......

In today's political campaigns, candidates and their supporters realize the importance of a strong social media presence. The obligatory attempts to look hip and cool to millennials is imperative as well.

I dunno who came up with this latest t-shirt, but it'

If you're not completely up to speed on your social media vernacular, the word "bae" is commonly used on the internet to mean "baby," "sweetie," etc.

Oh, and it apparently is also a Danish term for "poop."

That is all.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Taking in my first Twins game today!

The past two years when I attended my first April Twins game at Target Field, the game time temperature was not above 40 degrees on either occasion. However, today looks like a perfect day for baseball as we may hit 70 degrees by the time first pitch rolls around at 12:10.

As an added bonus, my friend and Miss Minnesota 2014 Savannah Cole will be singing the National Anthem!

Yes, the girl can definitely sing.

Should be a fun day all around!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meeting controversy head on.

Whenever MN state GOP legislators hold a press conference to convey legislative proposals and/or fixes to current laws, our petulant governor Mark Dayton often accuses them of "grandstanding." That's pretty rich coming from someone who himself has a tendency to make mountains out of molehills.

The latest offing from the erratic chief executive of our state has to do with his concern over a lack of umlauts on a certain small town sign. That's right. Umlauts

See, there is a city in Minnesota that had been known as Lindström — or, if you saw the signs greeting you on the way in or out of town in recent years, Lindstrom.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation replaced the signs welcoming people a few years back. These signs are generally replaced every decade or so after the U.S. Census takes place, and after the last such survey, new signs were brought to Lindström.

The state transportation authority relies on federal guidelines that outline what it can put on signs, and these rules say signs must use only “standard English characters,” said Kevin Gutknecht, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

“So when we replaced the sign, we didn’t put the umlaut in,” Gutknecht said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

OUTRAGEOUS I tell ya!!

No way Gov. Dayton will allow such an egregious offense to stand. As such, a press release came out Wednesday indicating Dayton will sign an Executive Order requiring the MN Dept. of Transportation to "reinstate the use of umlauts on roadway signage, when appropriate."

Glad to see our governor has been focused like a laser beam on such salient issues as umlauts and taxpayer funded travel to Indiana.

“Nonsensical rules like this are exactly why people get frustrated with government,” Dayton, who grew up in Long Lake, about an hour southwest of Lindström, said in a statement.

Ah, but people are totally OK with being fleeced for sports stadiums, having their preferred healthcare become more costly or canceled altogether and be overtaxed yet have you, Governor, refer to the extra revenue taken in as "our collective good fortune." Nope, all's hunky dory there.

“Even if I have to drive to Lindström, and paint the umlauts on the city limit signs myself, I’ll do it.”

Anybody else have a feeling that Little Lord Fauntleroy Dayton likely hasn't come in contact with paint since Kindergarten finger painting?

Besides, painting is a form of manual labor. Such exertion is probably not the Governor's strong suit given his struggles to shovel a small amount of dirt.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

But he's *our* great speaker

I have to admit that I took an instant liking to Marco Rubio after his successful election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. His personal story is compelling, having been raised by blue collar working, Cuban immigrant parents in Florida. Anytime he had an opportunity to speak over the past few years, Rubio would emphasize the notion that if he could accomplish what he has given his upbringing, so can you.

I recall the 2012 Republican National Convention and the incredible speech he gave just prior to Mitt Romney accepting the nomination as the GOP candidate for President. A popular sentiment among conservatives on Twitter that evening suggested that perhaps Rubio himself was ready to fulfill such a role. 

That time has come.

Having announced his candidacy for President this past Monday, Rubio effectively overshadowed the stale announcement of Dem candidate Hillary Clinton (a low bar, I realize) from the day before. While Mrs. Clinton will likely dodge any tough questions (the majority of the mainstream media will of course be willing accomplices in that endeavor), Rubio is primed to offer a stark contrast to the insufferable "progressive-ism" of the past 6+ years. 

So what do we have in Marco Rubio? We have a charismatic, inspiring speaker who has little to no substantive accomplishments in his time as a state legislator nor as a first term U.S. Senator. 

By early 2013, some polls suggested (Rubio) would be a favorite if he decided to seek the White House, and Beltway types began talking him up as a potential Republican version of Obama, a sharp-minded, silver-tongued first-term senator who doesn’t look like a traditional presidential candidate but could attract new voters to the cause.

I thought this tweet summed it up well

Obama cast a vision that he would "fundamentally transform America" which we eventually learned was an attempt to force outcomes out of equal opportunity. Over the past 70 years or so, trillions of dollars in wealth has been transferred in the name of "equal outcomes" yet the poverty rate has not substantially changed in that time.

On the other hand, Rubio is sharing his own vision of an America that allows people to succeed to any level they desire. Indeed, if the desire is truly there (like it was with his Cuban born parents), America is one of the few countries still able to give a strong return on such an investment.

I can't say where I'd rank Rubio on my list of desired GOP presidential candidates but I absolutely can't dismiss his viability.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Box Score of the week

It's the season debut of Box Score of the week! Yeah I know, the MLB season got started last week. Better late than never I guess.

Let's check out a game from April 2007 when the New York Yankees took on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. 


In this game, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriquez hit his 14th home run in the month of April 2007, which tied the April record set by Albert Pujols one year earlier. 


Sunday, April 12, 2015

No thrill for Hill.

Hispanic immigrant business owners. Single mom. Stay-at-home mom returning to the workforce. Gay male couple. Gay female couple. Expectant parents. Aspiring retiree. Interracial couple. College-aged female.

Yep, Hillary Clinton attempted to pander to all of those voter groups in her video announcing she will run for President in 2016. After all, she's can totally relate to them.

Just ask her. She'll tell ya.

To have zero substantive accomplishments as First Lady and U.S. Senator, bungled the Benghazi tragedy while in her role as Secretary of State and basically dodged all inquiries regarding email improprieties while in the State Department proves that she doesn't lack for arrogance.

Also, aren't the Democrats usually touting themselves as the party of young idealists? While I think it would be unwise for Republicans to bash Mrs. Clinton over her age, I do find it amusing how some Dem strategists are wagging their fingers at detractors who are doing that very thing. I wonder how many of those sanctimonious leftists dinged GOP nominee John McCain over the fact he was 72-years old when he ran in 2008 (Clinton will be 69 when Election Day 2016 rolls around). Anyhow, there are so many substantive issues which can be used against Clinton that the right shouldn't have to resort to such a narrative.

Oh, and have you seen the official Clinton for President logo?

Seriously, Mrs. Clinton has likely been plotting a presidential run for at least a few years and that's the best her campaign could do?

Not to mention that such a bland symbol is ripe for parody in the age of the internet. 

It's pretty obvious that some leftists aren't all that enthusiastic for a Hillary Clinton candidacy either. Why do you think there's borderline badgering of a socialistic first-term Senator from Massachusetts, a gaffe-tastic sitting Vice President and former no-name governor of Maryland to jump in to the race for the Democrat nominee?

So.......ready for Hillary? I don't know that even a large majority of Dem supporters can answer in the affirmative.


She said you ain't goin' nowhere boy 'til you spend a little time with me....

Back in the Patriot bunker for another edition of The Closer this afternoon. I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

Lots of political talk today, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) jumping into the presidential race and speculation Hillary Clinton will announce her candidacy today. Locally we had the annual meeting of the MNGOP State Central Committee delegates yesterday. Speaking of which, friend of the Northern Alliance Radio Network Kelly Gunderson will check in right at 1:00 with her insights from yesterday which saw MNGOP chair and deputy chair, Keith Downey and Chris Fields respectively, reelected. Kelly introduced chair candidate Neil Lynch yesterday, who made quite a splash despite falling short.

I also plan on weighing in on the Rolling Stone magazine debacle regarding their retracted story from last year which detailed a gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Up early for a Saturday

Getting ready to head out to the spring meeting of the Minnesota Republican Party's State Central Committee delegates. I'm not a delegate but I'll be present as part of the scurrilous media, representing AM 1280 The Patriot.

One of the main orders of business is election of the MNGOP's chair. Incumbent Keith Downey is seeking a second term and will be opposed by Bill Jungbauer (former chair of the Congressional District 2 Republicans) and late entrant Neil Lynch, who is currently chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus Minnesota.

Given that Jungbauer was a favorite of the tea party/libertarian Republicans, a lot of folks speculated that Lynch's entrance in the race will only serve to split that constituency, thus favoring Downey for reelection. On Thursday afternoon, Lynch chose to respond to that assertion.

There is a persistent question that keeps coming up in my discussions with potential voters, and I'd like to address this matter directly:

Two of the candidates in this race are considered part of the "liberty" movement in Minnesota. There's a concern that we will split the "liberty" vote, which would guarantee that the third candidate wins.

I could get into a nerdy discussion about the size of the "liberty" SCC delegation and the math of a 3-way race where a 50% +1 majority is required to win, but I'll just say this...

I have a track record of building strong, positive relationships with all segments of the party, not just within a particular wing, and not just when it's convenient to win an election. In fact, some of my strongest supporters are people who are not considered part of the "liberty" movement.

So, rather than obsess over the straw man argument of "splitting the vote" of a particular group, I choose to gain support from all segments of the party.

I know Neil personally and thus can vouch for what he said regarding his "track record of building strong, positive relationships with all segments of the party." In 2012, Neil was an unabashed supporter of Ron Paul for President. When running for (and eventually elected as) delegate to the Republican National Convention, Neil was forthright about this. But once it was settled that Paul would not be the GOP presidential candidate, Neil vowed to coalesce behind nominee Mitt Romney. While some Paul supporters chose to suck their thumbs and sit out the election, Neil went to work in an effort to get Romney elected.

Since I'm not a delegate, I really haven't given serious consideration to whom I'd like to see elected as state party chair. All I know is that whomever is elected will still have the challenging tasks of a) continuing to alleviate the party's approximately $1.3 million debt and b) helping Republicans win more elections. If any of the three candidates is willing to take on those seemingly daunting prospects, they have my tremendous respect as well as perhaps a little sympathy.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Stumbling out of the gate.

I've been a fan of the Minnesota Twins for nearly 40 years. In all that time I don't recall a more hideous start to a season than this year's first series in Detroit. The Twins were shutout the first two games (4-0 and 11-0, respectively) and somehow managed to not even have a base runner reach third base. The series culminated Thursday with a 7-1 loss, snapping a streak of 24 scoreless innings to start 2015.

Because it's the first three contests of the new season, the hideous play is that much more magnified. I can guarantee the Twins have had a worse stretch of three games in their history. In fact, being outscored a combined 22-1 by the Tigers isn't even the worst drubbing they've endured in a three game series at Comerica Park. Nearly nine years ago, the Twins we're obliterated by the Tigers in a three gamer by a cumulative score of 33-1. I remember that series well and how infuriated I was at the utter futility. Despite the season being a mere 3-1/2 weeks old after that series debacle, I wrote a blog post demanding a complete dismantling of the team. Needless to say, I was never so ecstatic to have been made to look a fool when the Twins won 96 games that season (including an other worldly 71-33 record over their last 104 regular season games) and usurped those same Tigers in the A.L. Central Division on the final day of the year.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that things are never as bad as they seem. But that's also not to say that the 2015 Twins have in them a similar run to their 2006 counterparts. The good news is the Twins have been in this position before (i.e. that '06 season) and weathered the storm. The bad news? There's no Johan Santana type ace on this current squad.


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Dr. Paul will run

No, not that Dr. Paul (thank goodness). The Dr. Paul who can actually win a statewide election.

Sen. Rand Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday with a combative challenge both to Washington and his fellow Republicans, cataloguing a lengthy list of what ails America and pledging to "take our country back."

Paul's fiery message, delivered in his home state of Kentucky before he flew to four early-nominating states, was designed to broaden his appeal outside of the typical GOP coalition as well as motivate supporters of his father's two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a 26-minute speech that eviscerated "the Washington machine," he spared neither Republican nor Democrat as he attempted to tap into Americans' deep frustrations with their government.

"I worry that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters," the tea party favorite said. "As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, `What kind of America will our grandchildren see?'"

I'll be honest. Given Sen. Paul's lineage, I really didn't want to like him. However, I was impressed how he was able to win a U.S. Senate seat while campaigning with a libertarian/tea party bent. And then when he arrived in Washington, Paul was willing to accept the cold, hard reality that many libertarians are not, which is it's going to take more than one election cycle to steer the country off the progressive course. Yes, in many WIBERTY! camps, "incremental change" is a dirty phrase.

Another aspect in Paul's favor is the ability to energize young people. As we witnessed with Barack Obama in 2008, motivated youth can be a difference maker. Today, the millennial generation has made it known that one of their greater concerns includes government involvement/intrusion in multiple facets of their lives, something which Paul continually emphasizes. I also lauded Paul for his willingness to engage the black community, of which 90-95% vote Democrat. If a GOP candidate for President can make even a marginal dent in that voting bloc, it would all but guarantee victory in 2016.

What Paul has going against him, of course, is his less than coherent stance on foreign policy. Given the myriad issues the next president will have to address regarding ISIS, Iran, Syria, etc., a non-interventionist approach likely won't play well with the GOP base.

Another issue is the lack of political experience. Paul is only in the midst of his first term in the U.S. Senate, a dilemma that will also face fellow GOP Senators Ted Cruz (announced his 2016 run last month) and Marco Rubio (likely to run in 2016). However, Cruz has had other noteworthy experience, including arguing nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in his role as Solicitor General of Texas. And Rubio served nine years in the Florida House of Representatives (including the last two as Speaker) before being elected to the Senate.

In the end, the GOP base will determine whether or not certain experience is required or even relevant. As a Republican voter myself, I'm just grateful we have some solid choices this time around.


Monday, April 06, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CX

- Late last year, Rolling Stone magazine shared the ordeal of a young woman named Jackie, who had allegedly been the victim of a gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house. Not long after, such outlets as the Washington Post began to investigate discrepancies in the story, so much so that Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana conveyed that Jackie's story no longer seemed credible.

Then this past weekend, Rolling Stone published a report put together by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism which detailed how this went so, so wrong (Read it here). One clue: the word "failure" was used more than twenty times.

National Review's Jim Geraghty wrote a piece a little more than four months ago discussing the prevalence of "narrative journalism." The concept is that many journalists concoct "preconceived storylines that fit a particular agenda or political or ideological view, almost always progressive." In this specific article, Geraghty referenced the shootings of unarmed black teens Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown being killed in separate incidents and how the media pounced on both to perpetuate how prevalent racism still remains as well as the perils of Congress not enacting gun control. Both narratives concluded with the media having proverbial egg on their collective faces as well as such "reporting" being "harmful to the causes they seek to advance."

Now substitute in Sabrina Rubin Erdely's Rolling Stone piece about the University of Virginia perpetuating a culture where rape victims are silenced by the powers-that-be in an effort to protect an institution's credibility. If, God forbid, a brutal gang rape of a young woman actually occurs on a major college campus in the future, don't believe for one minute that the public will have completely forgotten this debacle once a news outlet reports the story. Such a tragedy would be exacerbated if indeed the public questioned the veracity of a legitimate victim.

- Taking place this Saturday will be the Republican Party of Minnesota's spring meeting of State Central Committee delegates. One of the high profile items of business is the election of party officers. Current Chairman Keith Downey, who is seeking a second term, will be opposed by Bill Jungbauer, who once served as chair of the Congressional District 2 Republicans. All indications are that Jungbauer is a favorite of the libertarian/tea party faction of the MNGOP, which immediately puts him at odds with conservatives/moderates.

On the other hand, there appears to be a significant amount of dissatisfaction with Downey as the state party is still scuffling to improve it's finances. In addition, many felt Downey blew a golden opportunity to help the one GOP statewide candidate with a legitimate shot to win this past November (Dan Severson lost the Secretary of State race by a scant 1.1%) by diverting precious financial resources to a TV ad attacking Gov. Mark Dayton. The ad was a public relations nightmare. And let's not forget his bungling of the Michelle MacDonald endorsement for MN Supreme Court.

Given the two choices for MNGOP chair, I have a feeling that a fair number of delegates would prefer a Montgomery Brewster type candidacy.

- As a lifelong Minnesotan, I rarely (if ever) root for any sports team which hails from Wisconsin (my alma mater UW-River Falls being the lone exception). Sure, many will construe my attitude as one of "sour grapes" or betraying my own jealously at the recent success emanating from my neighbors to the east (whether it's been the Green Bay Packers, Univ. of Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball, etc.). While both are logical assumptions, the fact of the matter is I've been anti-Wisconsin sports since the '70s when the Badgers, Packers, et al were so pathetic that it hardly seemed worth any expended energy to jeer them. 

With all that said, I have to give credit where credit is due. The run the University of Wisconsin men's basketball went on in this year's NCAA tournament was remarkable. When they earned a #1 seed in the West bracket, I immediately surmised that they would be fortunate to even get to the coveted Final Four, given they'd probably have to go through powerhouse programs like North Carolina and Arizona. Even if they did reach the national semifinals, it was likely an undefeated Kentucky team would be awaiting them. 

Ah, but this was not the lame Badgers program of my youth. They were a #1 seed for a reason and they proved it by dispatching the three highly touted teams I just mentioned. Yes, after upending a 38-0 Kentucky squad on Saturday, Wisconsin would play another legendary basketball school in Duke for the national title. For the record, I have literally rooted for the Duke men's basketball team a total of three times before Monday. Not so coincidentally, it was the three occasions they played Wisconsin. So before Monday, Duke was 2-1 in games which I was in their corner. 

After Monday? 3-1!


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Like Johnny Kemp said, "I just got paid"

Yes, I will be live today with an Easter edition of The Closer on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

I'll take at least a couple of segments on the myriad story lines surrounding the state of Indiana passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and what it means for the continued culture war.

At 1:30, Salem Broadcasting's own Dennis Prager will check in to promote his latest book entitled The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code. Wow, how timely is that?

Then for the 2:00 hour, Ben Kruse will make his return to the Twin Cities radio airwaves. Ben will be in studio to discuss multiple topics (translation: we're winging it). I can say with certainty that we'll broach the subject of Ben's alma mater (University of Wisconsin) advancing to tomorrow's college basketball championship game.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....


Friday, April 03, 2015

Harry Reid: Liar and proud of it

When a sitting U.S. Senate Majority Leader essentially accuses a presidential candidate of committing a felony which is later proven false, you would assume there'd be an outcry for legal action against said accuser. Ah, but when this aforementioned leader looks like a crypt keeper and sounds as though he just received a swift kick square in the 'nads, perhaps it's just too darn difficult to take him seriously.

Anyhow, if bald-faced lying is even a small contributing factor in a desired outcome, it's all good.

Harry Reid said he has no regrets for polarizing the Senate, attacking the Koch brothers, and falsely accusing Mitt Romney of not paying taxes.

Republicans have criticized Reid, who recently announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016, for hostile tactics that soured the environment on Capitol Hill.

The Senate minority leader dismissed claims that he is the problem with Washington and said he his proud of taking on the Koch brothers when no one else would.

Reid appeared to take some joy of being a part of the Democrat machine that took down Romney in 2012.

“Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t,” Reid said on the Senate floor without any evidence to back his accusations.

When asked about his comments by CNN’s Dana Bash, Reid never rejected the notion his words were “McCarthyite” in nature. He admitted no wrongdoing.

“Well, they can call it whatever they want,” Reid said. “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

Reid’s approach of the ends justifying the means is sure to upset many and is likely to further propel Reid’s reputation of being a dirty politician.

After writing my own political eulogy for Reid last week, I figured it would be a while before I'd feel the urge to opine on him again. But this CNN interview gives us yet another example of what a disgraceful leader Reid has been. While President Obama often chided Congress (specifically House Republicans) for not getting things done, it was Reid who obstructed House GOP-passed legislation from even being broached in the Senate. The thinking was Reid looked to perpetuate Obama's narrative of Republicans being good-for-nothing, thus possibly preventing the U.S. Senate from slipping out of Dem hands in 2014. It didn't work, so Reid is now pretty much persona non grata.

Don't think for one second there aren't at least a handful of Democrat senators who will be counting down the days over the next 22 months.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Tolerance......or else!

"Gay marriage won't affect your life at all" they said.

"We're not interested in infringing upon anyone's religious beliefs" they said.

Over the past decade as states began to decide on whether or not to sanction same-sex "marriage," those were the common retorts to those of us who had moral objections.

Slowly but surely, those who considered themselves social conservatives acquiesced to the fact that "gay marriage" would soon become the law of the land. Some even took the route of "live and let live." Ah, but Erick Erickson of Red State warned that social cons who slowly became ambivalent would indeed "be made to care."

Who would have guessed that cakes and pizza would be at the epicenter of this culture war?

A family-owned pizzeria in Indiana closed on Wednesday following backlash over its support of a controversial religious freedom law.

TMZ reported that Memories Pizza is suspending its business operations amid uproar over the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Owner Kevin O’Connor said vitriol toward his restaurant was so intense it was closed until further notice. The eatery began receiving threatening phone calls and social media postings after revealing its support for the law earlier this week.

O’Connor and his family initially inspired public rage by declaring that they would not cater gay weddings on Tuesday. That announcement made Memories Pizza Indiana’s first business to refuse potential customers service for religious reasons under the new law.

It also drew venom from furious critics online. They have since flooded the store’s Yelp page with negative reviews protesting the O’Connor family’s position. Memories had an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars based on 1,850 reviews as of Wednesday evening.

I've said it on myriad occasions, but it's worth repeating: A moral objection to one's behavior does not equate to hating that person. So the idea that this legislation is "anti-gay" is complete bull pucky.

Another bit of misinformation being peddled is how Memories Pizza "refused to serve gays." Again, no. If a group of gay guys were to enter this pizzeria to have dinner, the restaurant by law could not refuse to serve them. The issue at hand is partaking in an exercise (i.e. indulging a gay wedding when one's religion sanctions only heterosexual marriage) which would violate an individual's (in the case, O'Connor's) religious conscience. The RFRA stated that the government “may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.” Seems to me that's pretty much upholding what is spelled out in the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Many members of the "Gay-stapo" were jumping around like poo flinging monkey on social media Wednesday in reaction to Memories Pizza shutting down for the foreseeable future. It's as if the bully tactics (which many homosexuals claimed to have endured before this society became more accepting of the gay lifestyle) are justifiable means to the only acceptable end. In essence, if one does not kowtow to these fascist tactics, one is forever labeled a bigot. Again, you're being made to care.